Federal Council gives green light to exceptions to North Korea sanctions

Bern, 06.11.2019 - On 6 November, the Federal Council made selective adjustments to sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This means that the exceptions to the export ban agreed by the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee can now be implemented. The amendment will come into force on 1 December 2019.

The Ordinance on Measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea prohibits the sale, delivery, export, transit and transport of all goods under customs tariff numbers 72 to 89, including some medical and orthopaedic equipment. In accordance with the corresponding Security Council resolutions, the Ordinance has until now only provided for a possible exemption for ships.

The amendment to the Ordinance means that the delivery of humanitarian aid and other goods for which an exception has been granted by the UN Security Council sanctions committee can in future also be authorised under Swiss law. This will increase legal certainty for those involved.

Nothing will change for exporters of such goods. SECO will still have to be notified in advance of all exports. In addition, all shipments to North Korea will continue to be physically inspected.

The Federal Council first adopted measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 25 October 2006. These measures were based on the resolutions of the UN Security Council, issued as a result of the North Korean nuclear programme.

Address for enquiries

Antje Baertschi, Head of Communications, SECO, Tel. 058 463 52 75

Fabian Maienfisch, Deputy Head of Communications, SECO, Tel. 058 462 40 20


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research